Shillong, Aug 12: East Khasi Hills District Police have seized of 930 grams of heroin from the possession of a lady from Manipur after intercepting a night super bus at Mawryngkneng on Sunday.
Three bags of 80 soap boxes containing the heroin were recovered from the possession of the lady, and one boy (juvenile) from the bus bearing Manipur registration (MN04-P-1451). The lady, Veineithem Haokip hailed from Churachanpur district in Manipur.
East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police, Claudia Lyngwa said that the seizure of 930 grams heroin from the possession of the lady, who was travelling in the night bus, came after intercepting vehicles on the national highway at Mawryngkeng area in East Khasi Hills district on Sunday.
Anti-drugs operation of the Anti-Narcotic Task Force (ANTF) of East Khasi Hills District was led by SDPO (Sardar), Jagpal Singh.
Singh termed the seizure of the contraband the biggest one made by the state police in the history of Shillong and Meghalaya. The contraband weighed 930 grams and its street value is around Rs 4.5 crore.
He said that the night bus has been immaculately designed with hidden compartments.
“After noticing that the number of luggages kept in the bus did not tally with the information mentioned in the documents provided, the driver and conductor of the bus on being grilled revealed that the three hidden compartments in the bus. From there foreign made cigarettes were also seized,” he said.
The Meghalaya police realized that drugs peddlers and other persons must be ferrying illegal items by using inter-state passenger buses especially those buses which have been immaculately designed with hidden compartments.
“We want to put a deterrence effect. They can devise as many things as they want, but we will still catch them,” Singh said.
Lyngwa said that the Meghalaya police have realized that there is a proper syndicate transporting a lot of smuggling items into Shillong including drugs.
“If you have a passenger bus which has been cleverly designed to accommodate hidden compartments, it means that this has been going on for a long time. There is a big time smuggling going on from certain states of the North East coming into Meghalaya,” she said.
The SP said that the state police would seek the cooperation of other states, and interact with them in order to find out (a solution) and put a check to drugs problem.
She informed that the Director General of Police had just attended a coordination conference at Imphal recently where this aspect was also taken up, adding that another conference is likely to be held in Shillong where a similar kind of coordination conference of all DGPs of various states.
Lyngwa said that so far, 2,300 grams of heroin worth around Rs 10 crore have been seized from around 22 catches done ever since she had taken over as the SP of East Khasi Hills district. In many cases, women have been arrested.
On the allegations that police may be having nexus with the drug cartel, the SP categorically denied and said, “to have an allegation it is very easy anybody can say so many things but there is no evidence. There is not a single case that we have investigated or we have done a seizure…that police are involved. For us if a police is involved we have to make an arrest we cannot allow a police to run freely and happily indulging in selling of drugs, for us a seller is a seller.”
Talking about the strict provisions of the NDPS Act, Lyngwa however urged the NGOs to inform the police instead of conducting anti-drug operations on their own. “If the NGOs are really interested, if they suspect anybody, they should just detain them but not to touch or search them so that the case will not be damaged.”
Expressing concern over the problem of drug menace, she said if this kind of amount of drugs is coming in, just one kg of heroin can be supplied to thousands of addicts in the city, which is so alarming.
“We had some talks with doctors as we want to get to the bottom of this issue. What they said was, if Shillong and the people of Shillong do not take this drug menace seriously, and the society and churches do not come together on this, by the next two-three years, we would have loss 50-60 percent youth, who would have become addicts,” she said.
The SP said if the problem is not addressed then in the next few years, Shillong city would have a society of zombies walking around, where people will go to any length to steal and murder, while citing few cases.
“I want to send a message to parents, society, localities that why children of 10-12 year old become addicts. Is there no parental supervision at homes? Are parents too busy with other things?” the SP asked.
Appealing to all to work together, Lyngwa said, “We have to work as a society, we are enforcers, our job is to catch somebody, we put them in jail and ensure that they don’t come out. Who looks at these victims, and at the end of the day, it is the victims who suffer.”